Central Florida reacts to Pope Benedict's resignation

Catholic community shocked over Benedict's resignation

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - Catholics are having mixed emotions about the news of Pope Benedict XVI's resignation as Bishop John Noonan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando makes a public announcement Monday morning.?

85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI or Joseph Ratzinger will step down at the end of the month. In a letter, Benedict cites his strength has deteriorated.

"This announcement is one of great humility and courage. He has always been a model to older persons since being elected the Supreme Pontiff at the age of 78," said Bishop Noonan.  "Today at the age of 85, he is showing us the Light of Christ, who he is. In humility and courage, he is announcing it's time for him to step down."

It's the first time a pope has resigned in nearly 600 years.

"We are blessed to have the grace of Pope Benedict XVI as a priest and shepherd of the Catholic Church," Bishop Noonan said.

"He's done an excellent job, he's been a great Pope," Melvin Marshalek said. "I don't know why he'd been resigning."

"I'm very disheartened to hear that he's not going to be able to continue on," Julie Schneider said.

Others say Benedict's announcement is just fitting, as the church marks the World Day of the Sick.

"I would be concerned about his health, might be his health more so than his age," Larraine Farrell told Local 6.

Overall, people were most concerned about his health, because they believe the future of the church will be in good hands.

"I was a little shocked, but I'm also scared that he's also got something very seriously wrong with him," another churchgoer told Local 6.

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